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I put 10 thin clear coats on my guitar over the past couple of days. It’s now totally shiny:

I think it’s looking pretty good. I doubt anyone would mistake it for a factory finish — there are lots of little screwups. But as a live guitar that will probably take some abuse, I think it looks just fine.

The final step before putting it all back together is to wet sand the clear coats to make the surface nice and smooth. Right now it has a bumpy orange peel texture to it as you can see in the pictures. The Paint Your Own Guitar book says that I need to let the guitar sit for one month before sanding (it would have been three months had I used any other colors.) I don’t know if I have the patience to wait that long so I’m going to look around on the net later to see if anyone advises that I rush right ahead.

Other parts in this series: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Posted on - July 14, 2006 [at] 11:38 am by Brad
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18 Comments on this post

Dylan on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
July 14, 2006 at 11:45 am

I just checked that site out, and I don’t know if I really want to paint my bass/guitar. Because I’m already saving my money for a bazillion different things, then there’s the $25 book, and the $250-plus for making the guitar, so, it’s just not for me.

Mo on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
July 14, 2006 at 12:07 pm

The orange peel finish is highly sought after for car paint jobs, so if you could play your car and drive your guitar, you’d be done.

Brad on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
July 14, 2006 at 12:15 pm

The book was certainly helpful but it was geared mostly towards people who want to emulate custom rock star paint jobs. You could probably find a lot of the finishing information out there on the net. The rest is all how to make your guitar look like Van Halen’s or whoever, which I have no interest in.

Dylan on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
July 14, 2006 at 7:10 pm

Ah. How much approximately did it cost (so far) to paint your guitar?

Brad on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
July 14, 2006 at 9:22 pm

I’d say about $100-$150 for the painting, not including stuff I retardedly bought but didn’t need.

Han on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
August 9, 2006 at 8:43 pm

So was the blue paint matte or glossy? Or was the clear coating all it took to get it shiny (assuming you used matte blue)?

Brad on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
August 10, 2006 at 5:53 pm

Han: It was regular Interior/Exterior Krylon paint. I guess that’s matte. It definitely wasn’t glossy. It didn’t have much of a shine to it until I put the clear coat on and then the shine went way over the top when I used the 3M perfect-it rubbing compound.

Steve on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
November 7, 2006 at 4:35 pm

im a complete novice to all this stuff and i was just wondering how long this whole thing took. ive got a bass that i wanna paint white (going for the whole white body with the black pick-gaurd) and i was just wondering if the total project times differ for the bass versus the guitar. thanks.

Chris on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
November 29, 2006 at 1:41 am

Just so you guys know, I purchased this book a couple months ago.. and afterwards I found out that basicly what this guy is selling is hogwash.
The reason he tells you to wait MONTHS after the clear.. and the reason he tells you to use his “special” guitar stand that doesn rest the body on the

CUZ clear coat spray paint will NEVER fully dry.
It will take YEARS.

Ive since bought a compressor, spray gun..and use nitro paint.

Dont waste your money.
Even his tips about waiting 24 before you pull your masking tape off is wrong.

The Sayler on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
August 26, 2007 at 10:49 pm

I refinished my old aluminum neck Applause acoustic guitar recently. First I used (believe it or not) some gel stripper, removed the cracked sunburst finish, sanded smooth down to the original wood top, then used Krylon silver gloss spray paint. I applied about 5 thin layers of spray from above, being sure to spray off into a cardboard box to start so any blobs of paint would not go onto the guitar.

Later I had my kids draw pictures with acrylic Paint Pens on the silver. When nice and dry, I took it to the local car paint shop and they applied a few coats of clear coat to it.

It’s absolutely incredible! Beautiful high-gloss, hard, smooth, unwreckable finish. I can polish it, bang on it, bump it, and it shines right up just like a car. Wow!

Kevin on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
September 24, 2007 at 1:43 pm

Did you wet sand it and/or buff it before applying the clear coats?

Brad on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
September 24, 2007 at 9:24 pm

Nope, just went right onto the clear coats.

The Sayler on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
October 2, 2007 at 7:49 pm

Nope; but after the kids painted on it I did put a few thin coats of clear gloss acrylic spray paint before the Car Shop put their clear coats on it.

Here’s a pic:

j rog on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
June 18, 2010 at 1:42 am

i just sprayed my bob marley decal black on my acoustic, should i put a clear coat or gloss? and if so what kind? thank you

a on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
August 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Use polyurethane and you don’t have to wait for threee months to dry.

griffin45 on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
August 19, 2010 at 7:43 pm

i used spray lacquer on my guitar and wet sanded it 24 hours later. I then used rubbing compound and swirl removal several times to remove any orange peel. the finish is nearly perfect but Ive noticed that it dulls quickly and I have to re polish with the swirl remover a little too often. I’m thinking that maybe I need to coat again with some other sort of clear or should I just keep polishing and not worry about it.

lettsbasses on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
November 7, 2011 at 9:32 am

the problem with dulling is that you didn’t let the finish cure long enough before buffing. the paint needs to cure before you can get that permanent shinyness. i think!?

rhett on Guitar painting: part 7 (clear coats)
November 14, 2011 at 12:19 am

i DID!!!!!!!!!!

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